Christian Edwardson from Provender, John Fordyce from Borders Distillery, Paul Crowe from Rib Rides St Abbs, Keri Appleford, Senior Business Development Manager for Expedia Group, Paula Ward VisitScotland Leadership Director, Angela Stormont from Abbotsford and Justin Orde from Provender in Melrose (Credit: Phil Wilkinson photography)

VISITSCOTLAND has announced a major new partnership that will see the South of Scotland feature in its first-ever regional TV advertising campaign.

The national tourism organisation has developed a series of adverts to air on Channel 4 and More4 from Friday (6 March) that will bring to life the unique experiences on offer across the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway.

Working in collaboration with Expedia, the TV adverts will take viewers on a journey across the south and ultimately encourage visitors to book a spring or summer break in the South of Scotland.

The adverts focus on the themes of lifestyle, adventure, and food and drink, and mark the next phase in the successful See South Scotland campaign which reached a potential global audience of more than 183 million people in its first year.

They also build on VisitScotland’s marketing drive, Only in Scotland, which shines a spotlight on the unique experiences and hidden gems the country has to offer and continues to support more sustainable growth in the industry.

VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director Paula Ward said: “The See South Scotland campaign has been one of many firsts for the national tourism organisation. When we launched the campaign in 2018, it was the first time that the whole of the south of Scotland was promoted as a main holiday destination across our global digital marketing channels, and with this next phase, it is the first time we are producing a regional TV advert to be showcased on national TV.

“The See South Scotland campaign highlights that the experience of Scotland starts from the moment visitors cross the border and enter the south of Scotland, where they can immerse themselves in unique Scottish experiences right across the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway.

“The future of Scottish tourism needs to be managed responsibly to ensure that Scotland remains a must-visit destination for future generations of holidaymakers. This campaign demonstrates that VisitScotland is committed to addressing these challenges by ensuring that our marketing focusses on spreading the benefits of tourism right across the country and extending the season throughout the year.

“This is an exciting time for the South of Scotland. The best way to keep the South of Scotland high on the list of must-see destinations is to make a noise loud enough for people to hear, and by working with Expedia we can reach a large audience that is actively holiday planning.”

See South Scotland was launched by VisitScotland in October 2018, targeting potential leisure visitors from the UK and Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands, and encouraging them to visit the South of Scotland as the main reason for their visit to Scotland. Activity has been coordinated across the national tourism organisation’s channels, from the development of new online content, the creation of new partnerships and digital marketing campaigns to press trips and social media.

The tactical campaign will encourage visitors to book a trip to the South of Scotland this spring by driving visitors to Expedia and the dedicated See South Scotland pages of visitscotland.com. It is the first time that Expedia has partnered with a national tourism organisation in this way.

Evelina Hederer, Director of Business Development at Expedia Group Media Solutions said: “The South of Scotland is such a wonderful destination and we are excited to be working with VisitScotland to show prospective visitors just how much the region has to offer. This collaboration will raise awareness for the South of Scotland among Expedia’s audience of highly engaged domestic travellers and help to drive booking demand through a beautifully designed custom landing page.”

The three 30-second television adverts, which have been created by Oscar-nominated production company The Chase, feature a range of different tourism businesses and endorsements from those working within the industry across the South of Scotland.

Scottish Borders businesses include The Borders Distillery in Hawick, Provender restaurant in Melrose, Abbotsford the Home of Sir Walter Scott near Melrose, Cocoa Black chocolate boutique in Peebles and Rib Rides St Abbs.

Dumfries & Galloway businesses include The Globe Inn, Dumfries, Hazel Campbell painting classes in Kirkcudbright, Galloway Activity Centre, Peter Pan Moat Brae and Kirroughtree 7stanes. 

John Fordyce from The Borders Distillery said: “We were delighted to take part in this exciting new partnership that will see the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway appear on the small screen. The wealth of stories to be told and the warmth of our people’s welcome sees visitors return time and again to the South of Scotland. We look forward to being part of the South’s team inviting viewers to come and enjoy our hospitality.”

Ruth Hinks, Director of Cocoa Black said: “Over the past 10 years, Cocoa Black has endeavored to showcase Peebles to an international market, so to be invited by VisitScotland to contribute to a major TV campaign is very exciting. We believe the campaign holds huge potential for the region.”

Hazel Campbell, runs a painting school in a Kirkcudbright. She said: “The South of Scotland has so much to offer our visitors, from the amazing scenery to the rich experiences on offer and I was delighted to be involved in this exciting new partnership that will help promote our destination to visitors throughout the UK.”

The adverts will air on Channel 4 and More4 from March 6 to April.